It’s a real pleasure today to join the blog tour for Murder on the Run by Lesley Cookman, the latest – and seventeenth – instalment in the hugely popular Libby Sarjeant murder mystery series. Published by Accent Press on 1st December in paperback and for kindle, it’s available in both formats from Amazon in the UK and US.
The world of running is completely alien to Libby Sarjeant and her friend Fran Wolfe, but when Libby’s son Adam and Fran’s stepdaughter Sophie join the Nethergate Harriers, they have to take an interest. And when one of the runners goes missing in the middle of the Nethergate 5K, they take more than an interest! It’s not long before a body is found – and Libby and Fran are caught up in another investigation…
I’m pleased to be able to offer one lucky reader the chance to win an e-copy (more details below), but first I’m really delighted to welcome Lesley Cookman to Being Anne…
Hello Lesley, and welcome to Being Anne. So many people already love your books, but would you like to introduce yourself?
Hi Anne. I’m a former actor, model, journalist, night-club DJ and cabin crew for BA. I’m a current mother of four, grandmother of two and servant of two cats. And an author.
I was astonished to see that Murder on the Run is the seventeenth in the Libby Sarjeant series. Tell me more about Libby and the world she inhabits…
She popped into my head fully formed one day when I was driving through the Kent countryside and saw her cottage. Yes, I know it sounds daft. Eventually, she made it on to the page as the first 20,000 words of my dissertation for my MA. She’s a former actor, although she does still perform occasionally, she paints watercolours, mainly of the seaside town of Nethergate, and she is a director of the Oast House Theatre Trust in the Kentish village of Steeple Martin.
I’m ashamed to say that I’ve yet to pick up one of your books – where should I start? Do I need to start at the very beginning?
The first book is Murder In Steeple Martin and introduces all the series characters. All the books should be stand-alones, but if you start further on in the series it spoils some of the over arcing themes.
Does it annoy you when people call your books “cosy crime”? Or is it a fair description?
It’s the term that annoys me! I HATE it. But if I’m described that way, at least I know people understand what end of the crime writing spectrum I inhabit.
I’m not a lover of slotting books into genres, but who do you think your books would appeal to? Is there plenty there for a hardcore crime reader? Do you have a typical reader in mind as you write?
I suppose I have me in mind, as I’m the typical reader. People have said in the past that I’m a bit like Christina Jones with added murder – which pleased us both as we’ve been mates for a long time – but hard core readers, people who like, for instance, Mark Billingham, would find my books laughably tame, even though I deal with some very unpleasant themes.
How do you write? What’s a typical writing day?
I faff a lot! The most disciplined I am is when I’m on holiday in Turkey, when I write every morning in my room. Otherwise…well, I faff.
I notice you’ve also started publishing a new Edwardian murder mystery series, The Alexandrians, starting with Death Plays A Part. Do tell me more…
This sprung from a musical I wrote (yes, really) years ago at the behest of the archivist of the British Music Hall Society. (I used to be editor of their magazine.) It was a story using songs of the time, and when I was writing the third in the Libby series I used it as back story. Then it got its third outing when I decided to write it as a proper book. It’s about an Edwardian concert party in a Kent seaside town.
And I really must – because I’m so intrigued – ask you about pantomimes…
I adore pantomime. I have written, performed in and directed many, written a book on how to do it and luckily, the pantomimes themselves are still produced all over the country every year. They only bring in pocket money, but I don’t care!
Are you a reader too? What books and authors give you pleasure?
I’m an obsessive reader, mainly of traditional mysteries, and I have my parents’ entire collection of Golden Age mysteries.
So, will there be an eighteenth Libby Sarjeant book? Does the writing get easier, or does the pressure of expectation make it more difficult?
Yes, Murder By The Barrel is due out in October, and a third Edwardian novella some time after that. And it definitely gets harder!
Lesley, thank you – it’s been lovely to feature you…
Fancy winning an e-copy of Murder on the Run? With thanks to Lesley and tour organiser Brook Cottage Books, here’s the rafflecopter for entry:
About Lesley Cookman
Lesley has been writing for money for nearly 40 years (no, I know she doesn’t look old enough), her particular areas of interest being Theatre, Old Time Music Hall and Pantomime. She lives on the Kent Coast and has four grown up Performing Children and two cats.